Economic Development News
Civic Progress Committee provides financial support for economic development issues
Does the Chamber use taxpayer dollars to support ballot issues?
Published: Friday, August 15, 2014 3:00 pm
By: Randy Allen, President/CEO
One question that has been posed recently is “Does the Chamber use tax dollars to promote ballot issues?” Though the simple answer is “no”, you may also wonder “What is the revenue source for such support?” and “How does the Chamber decide which ballot issues to support?”
Civic Progress has been a committee of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce since 1989. The committee was formed to provide direction and revenue for economic and community development projects and initiatives. Originally named, “Committee of Fifty”, it was later re-named “Civic Progress.” The committee consists of approximately 50 Chamber-member businesses, each paying committee dues and naming one representative to the committee.
While providing financial support for the Chamber’s community development efforts, the committee also supports ballot issues that affect the business climate and quality of life. Recipients of such funding are usually citizen committees working for passage of ballot issues related to the City of Jefferson, County of Cole, and local schools.
The Chamber manages the Civic Progress funds; however, decisions on how those funds are distributed are made by the Civic Progress Committee members. The funds are restricted, are carried over from year to year, and are not a part of the Chamber’s budget. Requests for funding are presented to the Civic Progress Committee at an official committee meeting.
In the past, Civic Progress Funds have been used to help underwrite the Jefferson City Public Schools strategic plan process (1997-1998), support for bond issues, county & city sales tax issues, park tax issues, Cole County Law Enforcement Center ballot issue, and most recently, Missourians for Safe Transportation (Amendment 7). In addition, Civic Progress has provided revenue for Salute to America (each year since 2005), JC Police K-9 Program, a Riverfront Development Study, the Chamber’s Strategic Plan update, and various other ballot issues and economic development studies.
The Chamber Board’s endorsement of ballot issues is separate from the Civic Progress Committee’s financial support. The Board’s endorsement consists of a resolution of support, but no Chamber funds are used in support of such issues. The Chamber Board receives recommendations from its Public Affairs Committee as to the importance of an issue to our economic growth and vitality and quality of life.
The Chamber commends the Civic Progress Committee members for investing in our community.
You are encouraged to contact President Randy Allen with any questions regarding the Chamber.